Disaffiliation Process and Information
As information becomes available or changes, we will update this page to ensure it is current and accurate.
Page Updated: November 18, 2022
In 2019, General Conference enacted a process by which local churches can disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church. The process, which is outlined in the Book of Discipline ¶ 2553, provides local churches a “limited right” to disaffiliate for reason of conscience, or for the actions or inactions of its Annual Conference, regarding a change in the requirements and provisions in the Book of Discipline related to homosexuality.
Paragraph 2553 Disaffiliation in the Kentucky Conference
The Kentucky Conference Board of Trustees, with the input of an advisory team (see BOD ¶ 2553.4) , has implemented the terms and conditions of ¶ 2553 for churches seeking disaffiliation. The terms of ¶ 2553 include, among other provisions:
- Payment of any unpaid apportionments for the 12 months prior to disaffiliation, as well as an additional 12 months of apportionments (¶ 2553.4.b).
- Payment of local church’s share of the pension liability for the pension covenant for our active and retired clergy as determined by Wespath (¶ 2553.4.d).
- Payment of local church’s share of the Kentucky Conference Retiree Medical liability for the retiree medical insurance covenant for our retired clergy and surviving spouses (¶ 2553.4.e).
- Payment of any arrears on local church’s health insurance and benefits premiums (¶ 2553.4.e).
- Church conference where two-thirds (2/3) of the members present vote to disaffiliate (¶ 2553.3).
A local church's vote to disaffiliate must be “ratified by a simple majority of the members present and voting” at a duly-called session of Annual Conference, as required by Judicial Council Decision 1379 and ¶ 2529.1b(3).
- General Questions: to ask general questions:
- Formal Request for Disaffiliation Information: to obtain more information about the disaffiliation processes, financial commitments, and timeline for your local church, submit:
- Letter: to your District Superintendent on behalf of the congregation and signed by at least two (2) elected local church leaders (e.g. Chairperson of the Trustees, Chairperson of the Administrative Council, lay leader, etc.)
- Online: Disaffiliation Inquiry Form
A formal request establishes key contacts for disaffiliation communication between the church and Conference, and provides the church with initial disaffiliation information (including financial obligations related to disaffiliation). A formal request does not commit the church to disaffiliation.
- Book of Discipline paragraph 2553
- Kentucky Conference Disaffiliation Process and Timeline (updated August 24, 2022)
- Kentucky Conference Disaffiliation Agreement (updated June 28, 2022)
- Kentucky Conference Board of Trustees Update (August 24, 2022)
- Board of Trustees Presentation (Annual Conference June 2022)
- Kentucky Conference: Clergy Withdrawal or Surrendering of Credentials Impact on Conference Health Benefits (updated November 18, 2022)
- Wespath (video): Understanding Pension Liabilities (updated July 7, 2022)
- Wespath: Wespath's Role in Determining Withdrawal Liabilities (updated August 18, 2022)
- Wespath: FAQs Regarding Church and Conference Disaffiliations (updated August 31, 2022)
- Wespath: Detail Q&As for Conferences and Clergy (updated August 31, 2022)
- Wespath: Contingencies for Potential UMC restructure or Disruption (updated August 31, 2022)
- Wespath: Clergy Withdrawals - Impact on Benefits when Surrendering Credentials (updated August 17, 2022)
- Wespath: Benefit Plan Opportunities for Churches that Disaffiliate from the UMC
- Council of Bishops Disaffiliation FAQs
- Ask the UMC FAQs